The wait is nearly over with simply three weeks to go till it’s ‘LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO’ for the 2020 Components 1 season.
The pre-season nerdery of testing is beneath manner, the automobiles have been launched, with swanky new liveries, new methods of saving weight, beating drag and even steering have been developed and the groups and drivers are all making ready for a combat with one purpose in thoughts…
…learn how to cease Lewis Hamilton.
Mercedes dominated the early phases final 12 months, ending one-two within the first 5 races and successful the primary eight final 12 months, with the Brit ultimately storming to his sixth championship with two races to spare.
F1 followers can be hoping for a extra aggressive begin this time round – no person desires one other one-horse race – and Ferrari and Crimson Bull engineers can be working their overalls off to be sure that occurs within the coming weeks.
Actually, Crimson Bull boss Christian Horner just lately stated that he believes this season is promising to be a traditional for Components 1.
After Crimson Bull’s sturdy finish to 2019 and Ferrari’s promise that they lastly have a automotive to knock Mercedes off their perch, there may be real pleasure among the many sport’s die-hard assist forward of the brand new marketing campaign.
And it’s a particular one, too, because the world championship celebrates its 70th anniversary, with new logos in addition.
So, will it’s title quantity seven for Hamilton, equalling the good Michael Schumacher, or will someone – anyone – have the ability to cease this period of silver arrow dominance?
Right here’s all it’s good to know earlier than the opening race Down Beneath on March 15, in affiliation with F1 TV.
For the primary time, this 12 months’s Grand Prix world tour options 22 races – essentially the most ever held in a single season.
Amongst them is the brand new Vietnam Grand Prix, in Hanoi, which is F1’s fourth avenue circuit.
In the meantime, the Dutch Grand Prix returns after a 35-year absence and there can be no race in Germany, who’ve misplaced their place within the schedule.
The Chinese language Grand Prix has been postponed because of the Coronavirus outbreak and has not but been rescheduled, and for a similar purpose there are additionally considerations over the brand new Vietnam GP, however for the second that’s nonetheless going forward.
2020 F1 calendar in full
March 13-15 Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne
March 20-22 Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir
April 3-5 Vietnamese Grand Prix, Hanoi
April 17-19 Chinese language Grand Prix, Shanghai *postponed
Could 1-3 Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort
Could 8-10 Spanish Grand Prix, Catalunya
Could 21-24 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo
June 5-7 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku
June 12-14 Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal
June 26-28 French Grand Prix, Le Castellet
July 3-5 Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg
July 17-19 British Grand Prix, Silverstone
July 31-August 2 Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest
August 28-30 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps
September 4-6 Italian Grand Prix, Monza
September 18-20 Singapore Grand Prix
September 25-27 Russian Grand Prix, Sochi
October 9-11 Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka
October 23-25 United States Grand Prix, Austin
October 30-November 1 Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico Metropolis
November 13-15 Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo
November 27-29 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina
So, will the quickest automotive win the title? Not essentially.
Ferrari topped the charts in testing 12 months in the past, and so had been anticipated to mount a right away problem.
As an alternative? Effectively, we find out about Mercedes’ dominance. It took the Italian staff 13 races to report their first win, they usually solely ended up successful three races all season – two for Charles Leclerc and one for Sebastian Vettel.
So we’ll have to attend to see who begins the season on prime, however till then right here’s the lowdown on all of the groups and drivers, with a few newcomers.
That is additionally the ultimate season of the present automotive laws, which implies from 2021 they’re prone to change fairly dramatically. And whereas Mercedes had been first to essentially grips with the present regs and develop the very best automotive early on, their rivals have needed to time to catch up, which implies this season might be essentially the most aggressive on the prime in fairly a while.
Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (GB, age 35), Valtteri Bottas (Finland, age 30)
The place they completed final season: Hamilton – 1st, Bottas – 2nd, Constructors – 1st
What’s new: Mercedes’ newest Silver Arrow boasts their new ‘DAS’ steering innovation that has baffled their rivals. The ‘dual-axis steering’ provides drivers the power to straighten the entrance wheels, that are designed to be angled barely outwards – ‘toe-out’ – to present higher grip via corners. This holds the automobiles again barely on the straights, although, and when Hamilton and Bottas give their steering wheels a pull it straightens the tires out, which is anticipated to present them an added edge over their rivals. Neat, huh Nevertheless, the design is so progressive that will probably be banned from 2021. It’s been given the okay for this season, although, so it’s a lift for Hamilton as he goals to make historical past and beat Schumacher’s all-time race win report of 91.
Drivers: Charles Leclerc (Monaco, age 22), Sebastian Vettel (Germany, age 32)
The place they completed final season: Leclerc – 4th, Vettel – 5th, Constructors – 2nd
What’s new: Ferrari have launched the SF1000 – their new automotive they hope will finish Mercedes’ dominance. Final season the Prancing Horse boasted the quickest machine within the F1 fleet, nevertheless it had significantly much less cornering potential than their German rivals. Their purpose for the SF1000, then, was to extend downforce. “It’s positively a step up from final 12 months,” stated Vettel after his first testing session. “Sufficient? We are going to see.” Arguably, as huge a narrative as their automotive this season is the battle between their drivers. Final season was suffering from staff order controversy surrounding Vettel and Leclerc and it culminated in a crash in Brazil. Ferrari have given a sign who they suppose their lead drivers is, they just lately handed Leclerc a brand new contract, however Vettel will not be going to go down and not using a combat. This might be fascinating!
RED BULL (Austria)
Drivers: Max Verstappen (Netherlands, age 22), Alexander Albon (GB/Thailand, age 23)
The place they completed final season: Verstappen – third, Albon – 8th, Constructors – 3rd
What’s new: Crimson Bull’s quest this 12 months was to match the slower velocity efficiency of the Mercs, in accordance with Horner, particularly their cornering potential. And so their RB16 automotive options new multi-link entrance suspension association, which has made the automotive look tremendous agile via the corners throughout testing. Mercedes and Crimson Bull had been the highest two performers within the first testing periods, so it appears to have achieved the trick.
MCLAREN (Nice Britain)
Drivers: Carlos Saintz (Spain, age 25), Lando Norris (GB, age 20)
The place they completed final season: Saintz – 6th, Norris – 11th, Constructors – 4th
What’s new: For a starters, it’s orange, very orange, presumably extra orange than it’s ever been. McLaren are hoping to construct on their success of final 12 months, which noticed them finish fourth within the constructor’s championship. It’ll be their final automotive with a Renault engine earlier than switching again to Mercedes in 2021 and they’re aiming to steer the midfield battle as soon as once more, and maybe go one higher.
Drivers: Daniel Ricciardo (Australia, age 30), Esteban Ocon (France, age 23)
The place they completed final season: Ricciardo – 9th, Ocon – N/A, Constructors – 5th
What’s new: After a disappointing efficiency in 2019, Renault have utterly resigned their total entrance finish, which has a fairly aggressively dipped nostril, which they hope will kind out quite a lot of the issues which in the end held them again final 12 months. In addition they have a brand new driver in Ocon, the staff’s former reserve driver, who returns after stints with Manor Racing and Drive India to interchange Nico Hulkenberg.
ALPHATAURI – previously Toro Rosso (Italy)
Drivers: Pierre Gasly (France, age 24), Daniil Kvyat (Russia, age 24)
The place they completed final season: Gasly – 7th, Kvyat – 13th, Constructors – 6th
What’s new: The one staff change within the low season noticed Crimson Bull’s sister staff get a rebrand. It’s the identical line-up, simply with a brand new identify and livery design which, with a mixture of metallic and matte finishes, is without doubt one of the best-looking on the market this season. Given the actual fact it’s now primarily based on Crimson Bull’s vogue home, that’s not a shock.
RACING POINT (Nice Britain)
Drivers: Sergio Perez (Mexico, age 30), Lance Stroll (Canada, 21)
The place they completed final season: Perez – 10th, Stroll – 15th, Constructors – 7th
What’s new: The British staff solely unveiled their new automotive every week in the past, and already they’ve been compelled to defend its design, amid accusations of ripping off Mercedes.To be truthful, they do look very related, particularly the nostril and, nicely, your complete entrance finish however for the pink livery. However technical director Andrew Inexperienced has insisted the automotive was ‘completely, categorically designed from scratch’, though in the identical breath admitted the designs had been ‘drawn from photos of Mercedes’. Hmm. Additionally, from 2021 the staff can be rebranded ‘Aston Martin’, so can be hoping to make that transition because the ‘better of the remainder’ in a aggressive midfield this time period.
ALFA ROMEO (Switzerland)
Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen (Finland, age 40), Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy, age 26)
The place they completed final season: Raikkonen – 12th, Giovinazzi – 17th, Constructors – 8th
What’s new: Not loads, apparently. F1 veteran Raikkonen, who may break Rubens Barrichello’s report for Grand Prix begins this season, has been very frank concerning the dimension of the staff and their restricted sources in comparison with the pack, and stated they may mainly do the very best they’ll after ‘studying classes’ from final season’s poor marketing campaign. “It’s clearly not as huge a staff as the place I was,” stated the ex-Ferrari man. “We all know now we have some areas the place we are able to’t match the large groups however we attempt to do the very best with what now we have. We are able to be taught from final 12 months’s difficulties and hopefully we don’t repeat it this 12 months.” Wow, relax, Kimi…
HAAS F1 (United States)
Drivers: Romain Grosjean (France, age 33), Kevin Magnussen (Denmark, age 27)
The place they completed final 12 months: Grosjean – 18th, Magnussen – 16th, Constructors – 9th
What’s new: The American staff had been the primary to disclose their new automotive this winter, with the VF-20 dumping the gold that adored their automobiles final season and returning to their authentic colors of gray, pink and black. Haas say they’ve discovered from what was a dreadful marketing campaign final 12 months, following up their fifth place end in 2018 by coming second-last. Grosjean even appear the automotive was ‘not even ok for a museum’. The VF-20 options no radical adjustments from their earlier machine, however the staff hope to have addressed all the problems that made Grosjean so grumpy. Solely time will inform if it really works.
WILLIAMS (Nice Britian)
Drivers: George Russell (GB, age 22), Nicholas Latifi (Canada, age 24)
The place they completed final season: Russell – 20th, Latifi – N/A, Constructors – 10th
What’s new: One other driver change has seen Williams signal Latifi as a substitute for Robert Kubica, who joined Alfa Romeo as a reserve driver. Latifi is making his debut in F1 after ending as runner-up within the 2019 Components 2 championship.
ONES TO WATCH
Leclerc vs Verstappen: Whereas Leclerc has team-mate Vettel to face in a battle for Crimson Bull supremacy, and all of the alpha drivers can be seeking to have a crack at Hamilton, in fact, the Frenchman has one other acquainted rival this 12 months which may make for an intriguing watch. F1 followers can be eagerly awaiting the subsequent version of Leclerc’s rivalry with Crimson Bull’s Verstappen, with the 2019 season the primary time the outdated adversaries battled on the monitor since their karting days collectively. They didn’t disappoint, with each drivers having fun with success and a number of wins, whereas there have been actual flashlights in Silverstone, Japan and Austria. Followers can be hoping for extra of the identical as they get one other take a look at the lads who look set to regulate the game for the subsequent decade.
Bizarrely, this is also a season dominate by ‘switch gossip’, with plenty of huge drivers up for grabs with their contracts coming to an finish.
Leclerc and Verstappen – two future F1 superstars – signed new offers with their groups over the winter break, however Hamilton, Vettel and Ricciardo are all out of contract in 2021.
Gossip has already been rampant, and there was discuss of Lewis making the swap to Ferrari as Vettel’s substitute.
Going into the brand new marketing campaign, the futures of these drivers are nonetheless massively up within the air – may the hypothesis have an effect on their performances on the monitor? We are able to solely wait and see…
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 4/6
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 11/2
- Max Verstappen (Crimson Bull) – 6/1
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) – 10/1
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 15/2
- Alexander Albon (Crimson Bull) – 125/1
- Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) – 1000/1
- Carlos Sainz (McLaren) – 1000/1
- Sergio Perez – 1000/1
- Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) – 1500/1
*From oddschecker.com – right at time of writing